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FDA Authorizes Higher-Dose Vials For Moderna Vaccine

Registered Nurse Delia Murphy dispenses a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at the Gillette Stadium vaccination site. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Registered Nurse Delia Murphy dispenses a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at the Gillette Stadium vaccination site. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday updated its emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine to allow deployment of more doses per vial, officials announced.

One revision clarifies that currently available vials can hold a maximum of 11 doses, while the second authorizes deployment of "an additional multi-dose vial" in which each vial holds as many as 15 doses.

The FDA said depending on which syringes and needles are used, the 11-dose vial may only provide enough volume for 10 full doses and the 15-dose vial may only provide enough for 13 doses.

"Both of these revisions positively impact the supply of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, which will help provide more vaccine doses to communities and allow shots to get into arms more quickly," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director Peter Marks said in a statement. "Ultimately, more vaccines getting to the public in a timely manner should help bring an end to the pandemic more rapidly."

Standard doses remain 0.5 mL each, administered one month apart, and the FDA reminded providers that they should not pool any leftover vaccines from the bottom of vials because it does not contain any preservatives.

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